Where Does Bingo Come From?
Bingo is a classic casino game that has been enjoyed for centuries and continues to attract millions of players worldwide. In the UK alone, bingo generated over £1 billion in revenue between April 2018 and March 2019. While traditional bingo halls still exist, the game has also become accessible through various online platforms, including liveroulette.com.
The game’s evolution, from Italy in the 1500s to its current popularity as an online game, is fascinating. Here is a brief look at the game’s history.
The Game’s Origins
While the exact source of bingo is not known for certain, experts speculate that it evolved from an Italian lottery game known as “Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia.” This game involved crossing numbers off a card according to winning numbers pulled out of a sack. It is estimated to have been played since 1530 and is still commonly played in Italy on Saturdays to this day.
In the 1770s, the game migrated to France, where it underwent changes to become more like the modern version of bingo. The cards were modified to arrange the numbers in rows and resemble the 90-ball bingo cards now in use.
Arrival in Britain: 1800s
The game finally arrived in Britain over 300 years after its origin in Italy, becoming popular almost instantly, especially in East London. Many of the phrases used in “bingo lingo,” the language of bingo callers, come from Cockney rhyming slang. Also, British soldiers referred to the game as “Housey-Housey.”
Introduction to the United States: 1929
In the United States, the game arrived under the name “beano” in 1929. Players used beans to cover up the numbers on their card, hence the name. Its origins are said to have occurred at a carnival in Atlanta, Georgia. Edwin S. Lowe, a toy manufacturer, witnessed a group of players shouting “beano” when they won and mistakenly shouted “bingo.” The name was so catchy that Lowe decided to adopt it for his commercial bingo games.
Nevertheless, some sources suggest that the term “bingo” was already being used in the UK in the late 1920s. Despite its unknown origin, it is undisputed that bingo has become one of the most adored casino games worldwide.